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Ramaphosa declares special official funeral for Joseph Shabalala

The 78-year-old singer died last week at a Pretoria hospital.

FILE: Joseph Shabalala, the legendary founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, at a show in Johannesburg on 1 August 2002. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a special official funeral for the late founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo Joseph Shabalala.

The 78-year-old singer died last week at a Pretoria hospital.

He established the world-renowned choral group which went on to win dozens of awards along with the National Order of Ikhamanga for putting South African cultural life on the world map.

“The Special Official Funeral Category 2 entails ceremonial elements provided by the South African Police Service. The funeral will take place on Saturday, 22 February 2020,” the Presidency said in a statement on Sunday.

Ramaphosa ordered that the national flag to be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country to honour Shabalala ahead of his funeral on Saturday.

“President Ramaphosa has reiterated his sincerest condolences to the Shabalala family, members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and members of the arts and culture fraternities in South Africa and globally with whom Ladysmith Black Mambazo has collaborated for the better part of six decades,” the statement added.

WATCH: Ladysmith Black Mambazo mourns Joseph Shabalala